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Daily Archives: November 30, 2023

How Citizen Surveillance Ate San Francisco

Wired: “…In San Francisco there’s always another video. New York and London are known for being blanketed with government-run CCTV coverage, but surveillance here is different: It is as privatized as it is pervasive, a culture of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, at scale. In the city where Nextdoor’s offices sit right in the gritty Tenderloin, sharing Ring cam footage of porch thieves is a bonding exercise between neighbors who’ve never met. All over town, local nonprofits oversee neighborhood-wide networks of cameras funded in part by donations from crypto entrepreneur Chris Larsen. (“That’s the winning formula,” Larsen told The New York Times in 2020. “Pure coverage.”) Platoons of Waymo self-driving cars circulate the streets like Pac-Man ghosts, gathering up videofeeds that cops snag for evidence. You can watch a resident’s live cam to see who’s on the corner of Hyde and Ellis, right now. True-crime video has become San Francisco’s civic language, the common vocabulary of local TV news broadcasts, the acid punch line to a million social media posts. The feeds intensified during the pandemic, when commuterless streets erupted with synthetic opioid use and property crime. Since then, the city has found itself hobbled through successive breakdowns—a police shortage, a 34 percent office vacancy rate, a federal injunction severely limiting the city from clearing homeless camps. No one seems to be solving San Francisco’s problems, the feeling goes, so by G-d, people are going to film the dysfunction and post the footage…”

We Should Get Paid for Our Online Data

TIME: “Since January 2023, the United States Department of Justice along with the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, have been in court pursuing a civil antitrust suit against Google. And on Sept. 26, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general filed a… Continue Reading

The World’s Feminists Need to Show Up for Israeli Victims

Slate – Solidarity for victims of sexual assault should trump other politics. “Of all of the horrors coming out of the Israel-Hamas conflict, among the most horrible are the barbaric murders, rapes, sexual assaults, and kidnappings of women and young girls in Israel during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. And yet, deepening this distressing… Continue Reading

ChatGPT one year on: who is using it, how and why?

Nature – “On 30 November 2022, the technology company OpenAI released ChatGPT — a chatbot built to respond to prompts in a human-like manner. It has taken the scientific community and the public by storm, attracting one million users in the first 5 days alone; that number now totals more than 180 million. Seven researchers… Continue Reading

The Right to (Human) Counsel: Real Responsibility for Artificial Intelligence

Swisher, Keith, The Right to (Human) Counsel: Real Responsibility for Artificial Intelligence (February 11, 2023). 74 S.C. L. Rev. 823 (2023), Available at SSRN: “The bench and bar have created and enforced a comprehensive system of ethical rules and regulation. In many respects, it is a unique and laudable system for regulating and guiding… Continue Reading

Explaining the Rise in Prime Age Women’s Employment

PennWharton: “Earlier this year, the employment rate of prime working age women reached an all-time high, passing 75 percent for the first time in U.S. history. Defying widespread expectations that the COVID-19 pandemic would disproportionately harm the economic prospects of women, they have recovered faster than men and played a dominant role in the overall… Continue Reading

EU Fundamental Rights Report 2023

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Report 2023 reflects on the developments and shortfalls of human rights protection in the EU in 2022. Its focus section covers the fundamental rights implications of the aggression in Ukraine for the EU and the challenges that arose. For example, the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive provided welcome access to… Continue Reading